|Weapons||Cestus, Scissor, Trident & Net, Sling, Sica|
|Activities||Fighting other Gladiators and animals|
|Battle Status||Lost vs. the Apache|
|Experts||Chris Torres (Weapons Specialist)|
Steven Dietrich (Combat Instructor)
Chuck Liddell (UFC champion)
"The Gladiator lived only for one thing, and that is to kill." -Chris Torres, Ancient Weapons specialist
The Gladiator, proud, thrilling killer of Ancient Rome.
The Apache, fierce, scalp-taking master of death.
Stats[edit | edit source]
- Height - 5'8
- Weight - 180 lbs
- Armor - bronze
- Gear - 10 - 38 lbs
- Symbol - Trident (signature weapon of Gladiator)
Info[edit | edit source]
Gladiators were either captured soldiers from rival armies, condemned criminals (including military deserters), or very rarely free people who chose to fight. In Ancient Rome, gladiators entertained the public with deadly and bloody battles to the death. Lanista were nobles responsible for housing and coaching the Gladiators.
To ensure the best spectacle, Gladiators were trained in the art of killing, using a wide-range of lethal, crowd-pleasing weapons. Those who survived became legendary heroes.
It is usually assumed that most gladiator's careers lasted less than ten fights. Winners would often receive laurel wreaths or money from the crowd, but the greatest gift was his freedom, symbolized by receiving a rudis (wooden training sword).
Upper-Class Romans would often drink the blood of fallen Gladiators. The winning gladiator would have a bath in olive oil and then the sweat,blood, and dirt mixed with the olive oil would be sold for high money for upper class romans to drink (commonly men).
History[edit | edit source]
Bloodsports existed since the dawn of civilization and various violent sports existed throughout world history. Roman Gladiators were recorded as old as the First Punic War (264 BC), but possibly existed centuries before this time: the exact origins of Gladiators is highly debatable. Roman consul Decimus Junius Brutus is credited for introducing Gladiator games. There is evidence to suggest that the Etruscians (the Pre-Roman civilization within modern day Tuscany) had Gladiators and the Romans adopted the practice from their northern neighbor.
One of the most famous gladiators was Sparticus, who led the Third Servile War in 73–71 BC. This slave/gladiator revolt began when Sparticus and 73 other slaves stole gladiator equipment to escape their enslavement. Rome was distracted by the Mithridatic Wars: allowing the slave revolt to grow to at least 120,000 men strong. When Sparticus' general Crixus was KIA at The Battle of Mount Gargano in 72 BC: Sparticus infamously made his Roman POWs fight to the death in mock gladiator games. Marcus Licinius Crassus, the wealthiest citizen in Rome, managed to successfully counter Sparticus' rebels, who in their fury made a self-destructive attempt to raid Rome. Crassus surrounded the slave army at The Battle of the Silarius River (near Italy's southern coastline). Sparticus, in his last stand, attempted to break through Crassus' lines to escape; but Crassus' reinforcements were more numerous and disciplined than the rebels. The majority of the rebels were killed; with Crassus crucifying 6000 and Pompey crucifying 5000 slaves that attempted to flee into northern Italy. Sparticus's body was never found, but was presumed to have been killed when he attempted to attack Crassus himself.
The iconic Flavian Amphitheatre, still intact in Rome today, was built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian (1 July 69 AD – 24 June 79 AD). Vespasian constructed the Colosseum to mark the transition away from the recent political chaos of The Year of the Four Emperors. The Colosseum was built ontop of an artificial lake used by the recently deceased Emperor Nero, as a way for Vespasian to gain additional popularity by insulting the deceased tyrant. It is believed that the word 'Colosseum' was a reference to the Colossus of Nero, a statue of Emperor Nero that was unpopular due to being made so soon after the burning of Rome. Vespasian put a solar crown ontop of the statue to modify the statue into the sun god Sol (further erasing Nero's past), and moved the statue infront of the Colosseum. Since the Colossus was associated with the amphitheatre, many began naming the building after the statue.
As the Roman Empire fell into poverty and Christianity (a religion that preached pacifism and was strictly against blood-sports) became more popular, Gladiators eventually became outlawed in 438 AD.
Tournaments and duels existed in several warrior cultures around the world. For example jousts for Knights.
Duels involving deadly weapons lost popularity during the 1900s. Uruguay was the last nation to outlaw dueling in 1971: in response to a pistol duel between Danilo Sena and Enrique Erro. Bloodsports are strictly outlawed by the international community, but still exists as an underground sport for various criminal organizations both big and small.
Weapons[edit | edit source]
|Mid Range:||Trident & Net||166|
Battle:[edit | edit source]
As the battle starts, the Apache warrior and the Gladiator are seen walking towards each other in a grassy field. The Gladiator makes a battle cry and raises his Trident, continuing his advancement toward the Apache. The Apache pulls out his Bow and Arrow and fires at the Gladiator, but hits his shield. The Gladiator readies up his Sling and hurls a stone at the Apache, who effortlessly dodges it. The Apache fires another arrow at the oncoming Gladiator and successfully hit him in the side of his stomach. The Gladiator pulls out the arrow and yells in anger, surprising the Apache. The Apache tries to run away as the Gladiator throws another stone with his sling. The stone once again misses, and the Apache tries to fire another arrow. When this fails, he further retreats into the trees. The Gladiator quickly catches up, however, and brings out his Trident and Net. The Apache tries to block with his shield, but it is thrown aside by the Gladiator's trident. The Apache pulls out his Tomahawk and swings at the Gladiator, but hits his manica. The two get into a struggle, with the Gladiator gaining the upper hand and kicking him to the floor. The Gladiator advances with his trident while the Apache tries his hardest to avoid the weapon. The Apache tries to get the trident stuck in a tree branch, but the Gladiator quickly frees it and continues to attack the Apache. With few options left, the Apache tries to make a run for it. The Gladiator, however, responds quickly and throws his net, tripping and ensnaring the Apache. The Gladiator throws the Trident at the Apache, but the Apache just barely rolls out of the way. He frees himself from the net and throws his tomahawk, which sails past the Gladiator's helmet. The Gladiator pulls out his Sica, and the Apache pulls out his War Club. The Gladiator tries to stab the Apache with his sword, but the Apache knocks it out of his hand with the club. He swings again and completely knocks off the Gladiator's helmet. The Gladiator pulls out his shield and brushes off the arrow from earlier on. The Apache runs charges at the Gladiator and tries to jump and strike his head with the club. However, he mistimes his jump and slams straight into the shield, sending him to the floor. The Gladiator kneels down and begins punching him in the face with the Cestus. He goes to retrieve his sword, but turns to see that the Apache has drawn his Knife. He tries to punch him with the Cestus, but misses. In a last desperation, the Gladiator swings his shield at the Apache, but the Apache ducks and slices at the Gladiator's hamstrings. He slices across the Gladiator's chest, then gets up and stabs him in the back. The Gladiator falls to his knees and the Apache closes in and slits the Gladiator's throat. The Gladiator falls to the floor, and the Apache stabs him in the head to make sure he is dead. The Apache gets up and licks the blood off of his knife. He yells a prolonged victory cry, then runs away, leaving his fallen opponent behind.
Expert's Opinion:[edit | edit source]
Despite the fact that the Gladiator fought everyday for the sake of his life, the Apache's weapons dual close and mid range capability won out. Each close range weapon being an equally effective mid range throwing weapon. The Gladiator's lack of armor in particular gave the Apache another advantage. In both a open flatland (which is what Gladiator arenas are similar to) and a light forest (where Apaches are used to) the Apache could use his projectiles and melee weapons easily.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The gladiator depicted in the final battle is a combination of various different classes of gladiators: his armor is that of the murmillo, while his weapons (with the exception of the cestus and sling) are taken from the secutor or Scissor, Retarius, and Thraex classes.
- Many slave revolts in Rome were lead by the Gladiators, who fought against Roman armies for their freedom. Rarely would a Gladiator use a sling inside the ring, but they were popular with the Gladiator rebels. This is shown in the episode with a Roman Centurion ambushed by a Gladiator rebel's sling. One of the most notable gladiator-lead rebillions was the Third Servile War, lead by the gladiator Spartacus.
- The Romans acquired slaves in several ways, capturing enemy soldiers, pirate raids and kidnapping, parents selling their children into slavery, sentencing a criminal to slavery, or by slave breeding. The most common way of obtaining slaves was through warfare. During war slave traders would follow the roman legions, many war captives would be sold to the slave traders. After the Roman's conquered a tribe or nation, the local citizens would be brought to the Roman Republic/Empire to be made into slaves. Most Gladiators were either penal slaves or war captives.
- In addition to slavery, the Romans also relied of Serfdom, which was a practice in which lower class citizens occupied and worked on a piece of land that belonged to large wealthy landowners. Large Roman landowners increasingly relied on serfs, acting as tenant farmers, to provide labour. Serfdom was also practiced during the Middle Ages.
- Knights fought in tournaments designed to train them, these tournaments acting similar to Gladiator fights but with full armor. As it was training, warriors would avoid killing each other, but fatalities did occur, forcing new rules in the tourneys. And like Gladiator fighting, these tournaments attracted large crowds.
- In the Aztec Empire some captives were sacrificed to the Aztec god of the sun, Tonatiuh, in ritual gladiatorial combat. In this practice the victim was tethered in place to a large carved circular "stone" (temalacatl) and given a mock weapon. The captive was supposed to die fighting against up to four or seven fully armed jaguar knights and eagle knights, whereupon falling he would be promptly disemboweled by a priest, but if the captive survived he was granted freedom.
- In Ancient Rome human sacrifice was not common, however when a Gladiator died in combat their death was considered to be a sacrifice to the Manes on behalf of the dead.
- Contrary to popular belief, death matches were actually rare: only 10% of matches ended in a fatality. It was unpopular for Emperors to demand a battle to the death, as such an action could cause a political backlash. Gladiators were normally too valuable as celebrities to risk having them killed. For the majority of Gladiatorial history, intentionally killing another Gladiator was against the rules. Emperor Augustus was the first to strictly forbid killing of any kind.
- Other rules included; no eye gauging, no headshots from behind, and no intentional crotch shots.
- Like modern boxing; Gladiators had umpires to maintain the rules of the duels. Also like boxing; Gladiators were not allowed to attack a Gladiator that fell to the ground, until that Gladiator stood up again and the match officially resumed.
- Gladiators could declare a surrender by pointing their finger in the air.
- The exceptional diet and medical care of Gladiators allowed the average Gladiator to fight in about 40 battles before retirement.
- Like with modern celebrates; some famous Gladiators did public advertisements and sponsorships. It was even common for them to be represented by toys.
- Women could also be gladiators. In modern terms, they are known as Gladiatrices (Singular: Gladiatrix).
- Emperor Nero attempted to remove Gladiator sports for Pankration games instead.
- There are currently over 230 known ruins believed to have been Roman Amphitheaters.
- All Gladiators had to swear to this oath: "I will endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword."
- Many slaves were forced to become Gladiators. However many slaves who gained their freedom became Gladiators anyways, because there were few other job opportunities for former slaves.
- While planning the Ides of March assassination of Julius Ceasar, Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus considered using Gladiators he owned as the assassins to kill Ceasar. Decimus brought his Gladiators to the nearby Theatre of Pompey, where they loitered outside of the amphitheater during that day: preparing to be summoned to assassinate Caesar if he escaped the senate building.
- The number of people who died in the Colosseum was about 400,000 and around 1 million animals died throughout its existence.
- In order to prevent gladiators from faking a death, corpses were tested after a match to make sure they were genuinely dead. A man dressed as the god Hermes would prod the body with a hot iron to see if they flinched, while a man dressed as the Etruscan demon Charun would cave in the gladiator's head with a mallet. Strangely, this later practice has survived into modern times in the Catholic Church, where dead popes are ritually tapped on the head with a silver hammer to make sure they are dead.
- Emperor Commodus was infamous for participating as a Gladiator frequently. It was widely assumed that the matches were rigged, but Commodus was still considered physically fit and skilled even compared to other normal Gladiators. These acts, combined with his alleged megalomania and severe corruption, made him extremely unpopular among the senators. His disastrous reign is considered to be the end of the golden age of the Pax Romana.